September 9th, 2008
06:35 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp responds to Obama's education ad

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The McCain campaign is out with a new ad."] (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign responded to Barack Obama’s new education ad Tuesday with a tough new spot that said the Democratic nominee’s only achievement on the issue was backing bills to bring sex education to children – marking a rare campaign ad foray into culture war territory.

“Education Week says Obama ‘hasn't made a significant mark on education.’ That he's ‘elusive’ on accountability,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “A ‘staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly.’

“Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergartners.

“Learning about sex before learning to read?

“Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family.”

The campaign said the ad will air in ‘key states.’

Within minutes, the Obama camp battled back. “It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds,” said campaign spokesman Bill Burton. “Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why.”

The ad marks a reprise of a primary season attack on Obama by a former McCain rival.
More than a year ago, then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked Obama over his assurance to Planned Parenthood that he believed some sex education should begin in kindergarten - prompting a response from the Democrat's campaign team that during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, the state had allowed those lessons to begin as early as pre-kindergarten.

Earlier Tuesday, the Obama campaign released a new ad linking education policy to economics, accusing the Republican nominee of voting to cut education funding and telling voters “John McCain doesn’t understand.”

The McCain campaign accused the Obama team of making misleading claims in the spot.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    "Why does noone ever bring up Carol McCain? "

    Because Carol and John are still friends and Carol would most likely support John McCain in any attacks.

    Similar reason why the Keating 5 scandal isn't brought up because FOUR of the five were DEMOCRATS and the other person besides McCain found not guilty was John Glen (D) and Glen (D) would stick up for John McCain.

    I welcome more truth in this race but all we get are half truths and attacks.

    You Dems do it so much better than the GOP does. Problem is those 'stupid' Americans can see what these attacks against the Palin ticket are (lying and half truths by the Dems are NOT better than any any lies the GOP ever told)

    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. janine

    McCain/Palin are so desperate. They continue to tell lies like no one can google anything they say. We're not all stupid.

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Larry

    Please. Research for yourself Dems. Find ONE other thing Obama has done in the education arena. One.

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. JB

    Who's another IL senator that ran for president prior to completing his first term in congress? I guess we'd still have slavery if we voted the way some of you out there are thinking... although I think some those same people would have liked that 🙁 If you vote purely on policy, I can't believe anyone would be voting for McCain...

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. ts

    For everyone that thinks this is a "great" ad, fine, you can have all of the sexual predators in the U.S. live in your house. While we are at it, McCain have all of them live in his numerous houses. In some states you still are not notified when a sexual predator moves into your area. You have to search it online to find out.

    This bill was to teach young kids the difference between a good touch and bad touch. And lets face it, some kids don't teach this to their kids. Kids are getting sexually active earlier. That is a fact.

    McCain has no shame, no values, is not worthy of a vote and is down right stupid. Shame on him!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. milo

    Someone took the words right out of my mouth – this ad IS sad, hateful, pathetic, and desperate.

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Independent with indigestion

    When these two guys won their nominations, I was hopeful we'd actually have a substantive, respectful campaign for once. I've been disappointed with Obama, but McCain has gone so far into the gutter with this one, he's lost my vote and any remaining respect I had for him. This is Willie Horton 2008, and to be expected from Bush-Rove politicians. I just can't believe McCain has become one.

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Pat Riot

    I think the point is that federal government shouldn't have a say in the affairs of our sovereign states. If the schools in a state are poor then let them tax and regulate the way their resident's see fit. It really all comes down to the efforts of the parents and the local communities. Our Republic is too large to be run by a select group of beauracrats in D.C.

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Xavier

    I am a 14 year teacher in Texas and know from personal experience that the republican party hasnt done spit for education. Bush spoke all this garbage about no child left behind, and then didnt even fund his own idea. McCain raised a ruckus when Biden made a comment about special needs children. Well, Republicans I am sory to say havent done squat for special education kids either. I have seen special education parents have to sue the state of Texas to get basic needs for their children. During the Bill CLinton years this was never the case. Palin and McCain talk of this garbage about how they care aboutr education, but come up empty when it comes to actual actions. Palin;s state of Alaska has a horrible drop out rate. That should tell you all you need to know of where she places education on the importance meeter. I feel so much shame when I hear these maverick phonies lie and lie and lie. Are these the two role models we want our children to look up too?

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. GO SARAH!

    I just saw Obama say...

    Did Obama just call Sarah Palin a PIG???????????

    Where the heck is the media outrage for this?

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. mike in central va

    last week i said that carl rove was feces in a suit. but i now believe the whole mccain/palin campaign is FECES IN A SUIT. they are definately a bunch of OLD WHITE PERVERTS!!!!!! and ia a 42 year old WHITE man so im not being racist.

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. mary



    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Mindy Chatsworth, California

    This is going to really get ugly as we get closer to election day. McCain and company are already trotting out more trash and vile attacks on Obama. Surprise, surprise. It's really the only way the Republicans can hope to win this election. Anything to distract the American people from the truly horrific state of the economy. But I don't think it will work, because when the average working person wakes up every morning, their overwhelming struggle just to survive right now, will be a potent reminder.

    We can't afford to let ourselves be manipulated by fear and smear tactics. This country is in desperate straits and million of people are suffering. We have to keep our eye on the issues and above all, the truth.

    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. TL

    Palin / McCain ticket is like a sequel to Fargo !!

    Come on already.

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. Sally from Cali

    Palin is a self-proclaimed elitist. Google "palin elite six".

    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    McCaim is an old firt that doesn't really know his head from his toes.Palin is bailing him out of disgrace and she is lying about a bridge to know where.

    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Values? Mccain had flip flopped on most things he stood for against his party, the guy is empty. Obama is honorable as well.

    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Maggie VT

    This really disgusting. Someone asked John McCain to define "honor". he couldn't ask it. Now I know why. He doesn't have any. Perhaps these woman who are so crazy about Palin should take a second look. And should take a second look at a man who would allow such an ad. Everybody is right. This is not the same McCain of 2000. What has happened to Cindy?

    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    NEW LOW!


    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Rich

    WOW. Talk about smut and smear! I GOP stands for God Owful Party! (I never could spell!)

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. What Idiots!

    This is just sad. Those folks will sink to the depths to win this campaign. What in the world would make one think that Obama meant anything but the right intentions in regards to education. For them to insinuate what they are clearly trying to insinuate, is disturbing. And as his campaign stated "perversed".
    And to top it off they darkened his image to make him appear more sinister. So that tells you exactly where they were trying to go with that ad.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Canada for Obama/Biden 08

    lol, look at Palin's daughter, that's what happen when you don't teach your children what sex is.

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Maggie VT

    Everyone in this world is risky. But if you don't take a chance, then you will never know. Didn't someone take a chance on you?

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Last Honest man

    Bill Burton is a putz. He does not know how to operate in a race where the back of his opponent is getting further away. Read the tone of the democratic responders on the TICKER. Can you say "Angry". This is getting fun.

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Melly

    I hope CNN post this one:

    I have one suggestion for all Obama voters. If you really think that JOHN MCCAIN and SARA PALIN are Liers, then please roll up your sleeves and go to the rural areas of your States and Cities and communities, and explain door to door HOW REPUBLICANS specially JUINOR CHEYNEY, PALIN, is fooling RURAL AMERICA, and tell them THE REAL TRUTH AND NEWS.

    The problem with America is that not everyone specially in the Rural Areas watch CNN or news channels, they just see the ads on their local channel or go to local events. AND if someone like Palin lies to them in those local events, they think it's truth.

    THAT's HOW REPUBLICAN WON the past two elections:


    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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